127th Rose Parade

Happy New Year everybody!

Perhaps I will reflect more on 2015 when I have time to do it, but I worked last night on another project for 3 more hours after a 19 hour day and I got about 5 hours of sleep, and here I am working again.

The Rose Parade is much nicer and less commercial (though still pretty commercial) than the Macy’s Ballon Parade, so much so I recently erased my 5 year collection of the Thanksgiving Parade from my DVR.

This year’s theme is “Find Your Adventure” and the Grand Marshall is Ken (Civil War) Burns, documentary film maker. If you like zooming around old photographs he’s your guy.

Of course the unique feature of the Rose Parade is that the floats must be entirely covered in flowers, plants, or plant by products (like seeds and bark). Many are highly animated and all structural and mechanical moving elements must be likewise covered. I’m told they’re spectacular in person in a way that doesn’t come across on TV because you lose the sense of scale and some are quite large indeed.

Preparing them takes weeks which makes preserving the plants an issue. A team of judges reviewed them early this morning and they select 24 as worthy of trophies and awards.


Now that may seem rather a lot until you realize there are 42 Floats (more than there are Balloons at Macy’s). Now there are a few groups that still ‘roll their own’ using volunteers but most of the Floats are designed and built by 2 professional firms, Fiesta Parade Floats and Phoenix Decorating Company.

Never forget that 42 is the answer to the question of Life, the Universe, and Everything (also, what is 6 x 7?).

AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Fiesta Parade Floats American Armenian Rose Float Association, Inc., Phoenix Decorating Company
American Honda, Phoenix Decorating Company The Bachelor, Fiesta Parade Floats
Burbank Tournament of Roses Association, Self Built Cal Poly Universities, Self Built
Cal-Nev-Ha District of Kiwanis International, Phoenix Decorating Company California Milk Advisory Board, Fiesta Parade Floats
China Airlines, Artistic Entertainment Services City of Alhambra, Phoenix Decorating Company
City of Glendale, Phoenix Decorating Company City of Hope, Phoenix Decorating Company
City of Los Angeles, Phoenix Decorating Company City of Torrance, Fiesta Parade Floats
Destination Irvine – Irvine Chamber of Commerce, Phoenix Decorating Company Disneyland Resort, Artistic Entertainment Services
Dole Packaged Foods, Fiesta Parade Floats Donate Life, Paradiso Parade Floats
Downey Rose Float Association, Self Built Farmers Insurance Group, Phoenix Decorating Company
Kaiser Permanente, Fiesta Parade Floats Kiehl’s Since 1851, Fiesta Parade Floats
La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association, Self Built Lions Clubs International, Phoenix Decorating Company
Los Angeles Lakers, Paradiso Parade Floats Lutheran Laymen’s League/ Lutheran Hour Ministries, Phoenix Decorating Company
Miracle-Gro, Fiesta Parade Floats Northwestern Mutual, Fiesta Parade Floats
Odd Fellows and Rebekahs Rose Float, Phoenix Decorating Company Public Broadcasting Service, Paradiso Parade Floats
Rotary Rose Float Committee, Inc., Phoenix Decorating Company Shriners Hospitals for Children, Phoenix Decorating Company
Sierra Madre Rose Float Association, Self Built Singpoli Group, Paradiso Parade Floats
South Dakota Department of Tourism, Phoenix Decorating Company South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, Self Built
Tournament of Roses 2016 Royal Court Float, Fiesta Parade Floats Trader Joe’s, Phoenix Decorating Company
Union Bank and the American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate, Phoenix Decorating Company United Sikh Mission, Phoenix Decorating Company
Western Asset Management Company, Phoenix Decorating Company WVU Medicine Children’s, Phoenix Decorating Company

There are also 18 musical units (Marching Bands). Some are local but for many schools save for over a year for the big trip to warmer climes and Disneyland. It’s not cheap, north of $5,000 per member in many cases.

Albany State University – Marching Rams, Albany, Ga. Allen High School – The Allen Eagle Escadrille, Allen, Texas
Centro Escolar José Maria Morelos y Pavón – Aguilas Doradas Marching Band, Puebla, Mexico Franklin Regional High School – Panther Band, Murrysville, Pa.
Instituto Pedro Molina – Latin Band Pedro Molina, Guatemala Jenks High School – Trojan Pride, Jenks, Okla.
Los Angeles Unified School District, All District High School Honor Band, Los Angeles Mira Mesa High School – Sapphire Sound, San Diego, Calif.
Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band & Herald Trumpets, Pasadena, Calif. Plymouth-Canton Educational Park – Plymouth-Canton Educational Park, Canton, Mich.
Punahou School – Punahou Marching Band, Honolulu, Hawaii Saratoga High School – Saratoga High School Marching Band and Color Guard, Saratoga, Calif.
The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band, Los Angeles Toho High School – Toho High School Green Band, Japan
United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band, San Diego, Calif. Virginia Military Institute – VMI Regimental Band, Lexington, Va.
William Mason High School – Mason High School Marching Band, Mason, Ohio Wyoming All-State Marching Band, Cheyenne, Wyoming

Also the Stanford and Iowa Marching Bands.

Another unusual feature (though not unique) of the Rose Parade is the Equestrian Units. Pasadena is in the middle of California Horse country and they are actually the oldest units in the parade. This year we have 19 of them.

1st Cavalry Horse Detachment – Fort Hood American Endurance Ride Conference
Anheuser Busch Budweiser Clydesdales Calizona Appaloosa Horse Club
Dakota Thunder Shires Long Beach Mounted Police
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Los Hermanos Bañuelos
Martinez Family Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
National Park Service The New Buffalo Soldiers
The Norco Cowgirls & The Little Miss Norco Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team Scripps Miramar Ranch
Spirit of the West Riders U.S. Army Field Artillery Half Section – Fort Sill
U.S. Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard Valley Hunt Club
Wells Fargo

The parade actually takes over 5 hours to run but the broadcast is only 2 and the cameras are near the start so you get a chance to see them before parts start falling off. It is on NBC starting at 11 am ET (8 am PT). All units are listed alphabetically, not in the order they will appear.

I hope your New Year is Healthy, Enjoyable, and Profitable. Best wishes, The Stars Hollow Gazette and DocuDharma.


Skip to comment form

  1. Vent Hole

  2. Grand Marshall

  3. South Dakota Department of Tourism

  4. Medieval Times

  5. Governors Trophy- Miracle Grow

  6. Rose Queen

  7. Albany State University

  8. Grand Marshall’s Trophy- Kaiser-Permanente

  9. New Buffalo Soldiers

  10. Virginia Military Institute

  11. Green Band Japan

  12. Downy Foundation

  13. Scrpps Miramar Saddle Bred

  14. Union Bank

  15. Plymouth Canton

  16. Isabella Colman Trophy- Donate Life

  17. Theme Trophy- Tournament of Roses Association

  18. Savation Army Band

  19. Past President’s Trophy- Northwestern Mutual

  20. Iowa State

  21. That would be Iowa

  22. Vally Hunt Club

  23. Mayor of Pasadena

  24. Pasadena City College

  25. American Armenian Rose Float Association

  26. Stanford

  27. Lealand Stanford Band

  28. American Endurance Ride Conference

  29. City of Hope

  30. Lion’s Club

  31. Extraordinaire Trophy- Disney

  32. Mayor’s Trophy- City of Los Angeles

  33. Los Angeles School Band

    • BobbyK on January 1, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    The chart feature on this new site is actually pretty cool. I like how the guide lines are visable. It helps my eyes. Then again I use the gray scale power saving setting on my phone screen. Anyhow it looks good to me!

      • BobbyK on January 1, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      Looks sharp in color as well. Now back to power save.

  34. Judges Special Trophy- Los Angeles Lakers

  35. Martinez Family

  36. Kiwanis

  37. Fantasy- Trader Joe’s

  38. Saratoga Marching Band

  39. Tournament Volunteers Trophy- Shriners

  40. Jenks High School Band

  41. Animation Trophy- Sierra Madre Rose Association

  42. Franklin Regional Band

  43. Director’s Trophy- Dole

  44. Punaho Marching Band

  45. Tournament Special Trophy- California Milk

      • BobbyK on January 1, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Banana split driver having too much fun

  46. Hermosas Banuelas

  47. Odd Fellows

  48. William Mason Band

  49. President’s Trophy- The Batchelor

  50. Princess Trophy- City of Torrence

  51. Mira Mesa Band

  52. Alhambra

  53. Lutherans

  54. Wells Fargo

  55. See you next year.

Comments have been disabled.